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World Reacts Favorably To Obama

This story was written by Matthew Wendling, The Daily Vidette

The world held its breath Tuesday as Barack Obama was elected to the highest seat of power in the United States, having obtained 349 electoral votes, 79 more than the 270 required to win.

The 2008 election was long anticipated throughout the world.

"I don't know of any other election in the world that was so closely watched by the whole world," Ali Riaz, department chair of politics and government, said. "[The world community was] trying to find out whether the United States would take a different course and, for them, the symbol of that different course would be Barack Obama."

As media reports flood in from all directions detailing the results of the election, most reactions from the world community are favorable.

"Whoever won, it was going to be a first in one way or another," Frannie Heine, a human resource management major who works with international students at Illinois State University, said. "I was, however, really frustrated by the fact that so much money was spent on the campaigns."

Evidently, Obama's campaigns helped him abroad as well as at home. The International Herald Tribune, the Times of London and Germany's Der Spiegel have all released statements citing the unique challenges Obama faces in the coming years as well as a universal message that this election has revitalized politics in the United States.

"They want to see a change in the U.S. policy," Riaz said of nations supportive of Obama. "The whole international community was expecting Barack Obama to win."

Obama's election appears to be so internationally exciting that Chinese President Hu Jintao also feels hope for what BBC called "strengthening dialog" while Nicolas Sarkozy of France has said he shares Obama's vision of hope for the future.

Response is so positive that even the Guardian, a prominent news outlet in London, ran an editorial that called Obama Europe's hope as well.

"They did it. They really did it," the editorial begins. "So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world."

The Australian echoed these sentiments, saying that Obama's election is "more than a vote for change."

"The American people have turned a page," the article by Paul Kelly, editor-at-large, states. "It is an act of renewal, a turning point in American history and a quest for a better nation."

However, Haaretz, an Israeli news organization, fears that an Obama administration will "take a significantly softer line" toward Iran than the current Bush administration.

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